Neneh Cherry – who’s looking good today, who’s looking good in every way.


Some months ago I was doing some research on upcoming gigs for the year 2019. So far my calendar has been marked for a number of dates that are unmissable – John Grant, Villagers, Sophie Ellis Bextor. Other acts were mentally noted with a promise to reconsider closer to the event when a clearer inventory of availability and money could be taken. Continue reading Neneh Cherry – who’s looking good today, who’s looking good in every way.


Theatrical: ‘Fat Blokes’


December 2015 was a funny time. I’d been back in Dublin for a month, after years in Amsterdam,  feeling like I’d made the biggest mistake of my life coming home. It was the dead of winter – always a miserable time. I was working in the industrial wastelands of county Dublin with my bullying colleagues Mouth-Breather and Potato-Head (not their real names); and I was flat-sharing in the leafy suburb of Castleknock with the deranged FlatEnemy who lectured me constantly about how he was going to be a millionaire. I was less than content. I remember one evening seeing a YouTube link called ‘I’ve been radicalised’ starring the artist Scottee, describing his rage at being bullied and abused for being a fat, camp gay guy. It was powerful, in the way that honesty mixed with anger tends to be. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Fat Blokes’

Theatrical: ‘140 Characters’ and ‘Dog Boy’


‘A ticket for one please’ said I, with a devil-may-care, jaunty attitude. It was 7.25. The show was not starting until 7.45. I had oodles of time.

‘Sorry sir, I have just sold the last ticket.’

I was horrified. Not only was the show sold out, but I had been addressed as ‘Sir’ by the youth at the counter. I am not a ‘sir’. I am young, fresh, vibrant and vivacious – in my own head at least. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘140 Characters’ and ‘Dog Boy’

Cinematic: ‘Can you ever forgive me?’


Since receiving a cinema card as a Christmas gift, my attendance at the picture-house has skyrocketed. Yesterday, for the second consecutive evening I went to the cinema after work – having cunningly timed my departure to arrive in town at the precise time that the film was meant to start. For my viewing pleasure last night was the film ‘Can you ever forgive me?’ Continue reading Cinematic: ‘Can you ever forgive me?’

Marching with the nurses


As I turned left onto Parnell Street from Marlborough Street I could see the crowds. The Garden of Remembrance was the gathering point but the throngs of people stretched back to the Gate Theatre. The usual suspects were well present and correct. I consider myself one of the usual suspects – if there is a protest I am likely to be present. I don’t wear a high viz jacket advertising the ‘Worker’s Hammer’ newspaper, like my fellow serial protesters however. In any case we were massively outnumbered by the INMO and PNA staff. Today’s gathering was a march to support the two week old strike action by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses Association. Continue reading Marching with the nurses

Theatrical: ‘The Bear’


I don’t make new year’s resolutions, so for 2019 I hatched a plan – I was going to explore more classical theatre. I regularly avail of new shows. Didn’t the ancient Greeks invent the art form though? I have thousands of years of catching up to do. I decided that this Wednesday I would have an adventure, and attend ‘The Bear’ by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Bear’

Theatrical: ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ at the Gaiety Theatre


On Saturday night I attended my first ever play at the legendary Gaiety theatre in Dublin. Built in 1871 it is Ireland’s oldest continuously running theatre (Smock Alley is older but only recently reopened). Famed for its annual three month summer season of Riverdance to fleece American tourists; and its Christmas pantomime; it also stages plays and musicals throughout the rest of the year. With seating for over 2000 people it is the grand old dame of Dublin theatre, designed in a deeply gaudy manner. Naturally I loved it. Having done a bit of research I was unsurprised to discover the at the upper circle of the theatre was a place where fancy gentlemen used to congregate for encounters, at the time where such shenanigans were illegal. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ at the Gaiety Theatre

Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock


I love the theatre – there is something magical about waiting in the dark for a show to begin. A live performance is so much more immediate and wrenching than watching something on a screen. The joy generated by a good show and performance is electric. Having dabbled in the dark theatrical arts myself – as a performer, writer, director, stage manager; lighting technician and sound technician (when you work in no budget theatre, necessity requires versatility) – I can appreciate the effort that goes into getting a play from an idea in a writer’s head to the closing night. It can be gruelling (not in the same manner as working on a chain gang might be, granted, but tiring nonetheless). I attend a show, wanting to like it – mentally willing the actors to give an impressive performances. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock